Yesterday’s post prompted a lively discussion and some questions. I would like to thank those who pointed out that I’m far from being a Vegan. Yes I know, we need a new name for the kind of practice I describe. No, not a wannabe, but something more positive. I propose mindful or selective, or just plain caring. I’m not pretending to be a purist. I still wear leather shoes and carry a leather purse on occasion. My den is filled with leather furniture and I sleep with down pillows. Although I love animals, I’m not doing this in support of PETA or any other organization which has their agenda, and I don’t know enough about them to comment on their mission. I also don’t get freaked out by the fact that certain products I use daily such as soap, shampoo and toothpaste may also contain ingredients from animals. My only goal is to get healthy and as close as I can to consuming the least amount of animal sourced products. Maybe as I experience more of this lifestyle, I will feel differently.
Before the onset of industrial size feedlots and processing plants which reduced the price of meat, most of us consumed it only occasionally. Wealth has always equated meat consumption. We are witnessing this phenomenon in the developing countries such as China where it is rising along with per capita income. They are at the onset of what we already experiences here a generation ago. Given the readily available health data, one wonders why they are choosing this harmful path, but marketing is a powerful weapon.
Most of my Vegan recipes I developed by eliminating or substituting meat from favorites.
Persian Style Eggplant and Split-Pea Stew
Sautee a medium onion in about 2 tbsp. of sunflower oil till golden. Add a tsp. of turmeric and stir well. Season with salt and pepper. Add two cups of roughly chopped mushrooms (vegan meat), 2 cups of diced tomatoes, and 3-4 tbsp. of tomato paste. Stir well and add enough water to cover. Add two dried lemons. Simmer for 5-6 minutes on medium. Peel and thinly slice an eggplant lengthwise and layer on top of the mixture. Cover and cook for another 7-8 minutes. Meanwhile, cook 1 cup of split peas till semi soft and drain. Check the eggplant for tenderness and gently stir. Add split peas and simmer another 5 minutes. Taste and re-adjust seasonings. Serve with brown rice and a chopped cucumber salad.